Christ healing the paralytic at Bethesda, by Palma il Giovane, 1592.

I have no man.

No-one gave him anything.

Greater love has no-one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

John 5:7; Luke 15:16; John 15:13.

The entrance to a religious building as a place sought out to appeal for charity from the faithful is nothing new. It was so in the time of the apostles. Seated at the door of the temple in Jerusalem, an invalid beggar held out his hand asking for alms (cf. Acts 3:1-11). Having been lame since birth, he could not walk. He was carried there daily. Wouldn’t those who entered the temple to glorify God have pity on the poor beggar?

Now two men are approaching. They stop and say to him, “Look at us!” Their eyes meet, full of compassion in one case, full of distress in the other. The invalid has hope: perhaps they will donate a coin. But one of them, Peter, says, “Silver and gold I do not have”,  not wishing to deceive the expectant beggar. True enough: one cannot expect anything from man. “None … can by any means redeem his brother” (Psalm 49:7). But Peter is one of Jesus’ disciples. He knows His power and love. He had seen Him heal invalids, cure the sick and even raise the dead. He knows that Jesus, in heaven, is still the same. So Peter adds, “What I do have, I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” He takes the invalid by the hand, the beggar stands up, jumps for joy and enters the temple to praise God.

Image: By Palma il Giovane – Web Gallery of Art:   Image  Info about artwork, Public Domain,